Hanging out in Davis (California, not Square) – Part 2


Saturday, 13-June-2015

The people who say “if you need to reset your internal clock, go camping for a week” are 100% correct.

I can say this, because I woke up early, of my own volition, without an alarm being set. I was mobile at something like 7:30, having woke up maybe half an hour earlier. It was amazing. I was astounded. So I walked out of bed, got a glass of water, and did some writing while waiting for Mike to rouse himself. We weren’t in any rush, so I felt no need to kick his door in anytime soon.

When Mike did finally wake up, it was to a dinosaur in the face.

See… his roommates are awesome, and they reminded me of an idealized version of a fraternity. Everyone dealt with stuff together; they’re all smart (PHDs and all sorts of other credentials), and they pull pranks on each other. The prank of the morning that day was putting a giant inflatable dinosaur in front of peoples rooms, so they’d open their doors directly into a jaws of prehistoric doom.

Mike didn’t squeal, unfortunately. He’d gotten used to it, I guess, and just swore, and proceeded to smack his roommate with a giant inflatable dinosaur.

So then, the rest of the day started up with the three of us heading to breakfast, followed by more dinosaurs – Jurassic World, which was excellent… even if it did leave me wanting to watch Guardians of the Galaxy again to see what Chris Pratt can do with a real script. Then relaxing at the house, and then…

Dinner with an Astronaut! A real, honest-to-goodness, “flew up into space on a pillar of explosions and then hung out in a floating pod for a few months”, astronaut. One of the engineering professors at UC Davis, who I was extremely excited to meet.

And when I did meet him… I completely froze, and couldn’t think of anything to say. No witty questions appeared in my thought bubbles. No intelligent repartee occurred. I just sort of got intimidated, and played with quad-copters an an Occulus Rift that his niece brought (since she works for Occulus). The food was awesome though, which helped me drown my sadness that I froze up 🙁

But it was okay, because we had a second BarBQ to go to! One without any astronauts, unfortunately… but one where I was a little more able to talk to everyone. Which… you know… was kind of nice. It was basically all folks our age, but from an impressively varied set of backgrounds: I met a few New Englanders, a few engineers, a whole group of theater kids, some singers, and even a few english nerds. Who, of course, got a whole massive game of bananagrams going. Because it doesn’t matter where we are – english majors always find a way to play bananagrams. Sort of like how I always end up climbing something.

Anyways, the bananagrams was Mike and my cue to leave. Mike did get to do a duet with one of the singers though – the guy was amazing, and the duet was pretty epic. But so was the game of GoldenEye (note the theme – Mike’s roommates have an N64 console in their house, so we were rocking the classics. Combine that with the awesome beer that’s native to Davis? You have one hell of an end to a day of chilling and partying.

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